Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Parents
Students with physical or mental disabilities can face academic hurdles for a variety of reasons, so it’s important for teachers to be familiar with federal laws and educational plans that help ensure their special needs are met.
Section 504 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is designed to help parents of students with physical or mental impairments in public schools, or publicly funded private schools, work with educators to design customized educational plans. These 504 plans legally ensure that students will be treated fairly at school. 504 plans level the playing field, enabling students with special needs to get the accommodations needed to access curricula at the same level as their classmates.
To help students with disabilities succeed in school, teachers may need to modify the classroom environment, adjust their teaching strategies, or make other adjustments. Other tasks include assessing students’ progress and communicating effectively with parents. 504 plans legally require teachers to make the accommodations as specified in the plans, as well as monitor and participate in plan reviews.
Students can qualify for 504 plans if they have physical or mental impairments that affect or limit any of their abilities to:
Examples of accommodations in 504 plans include:
The goal of 504 plans is for students to be educated in regular classrooms along with the services, accommodations, or educational aids they might need. If students with these plans can’t achieve satisfactory academic success, as is determined by the school, then alternative settings in the school or private or residential programs can be considered.
A 504 plan is different from an individualized education program (IEP). The main difference is that a 504 plan modifies a student’s regular education program in a regular classroom setting. A 504 plan is monitored by classroom teachers. A student with an IEP, as part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004), may receive different educational services in a special or regular educational setting, depending on the student’s need. IEP programs are delivered and monitored by additional school support staff.
Also, parental approval and involvement is required for an IEP, but not for a 504 plan. Full parental participation in the 504 plan process, however, is important for the student’s academic success.
It’s important to note that students with IEPs are also entitled to the additional protections and services offered by 504 plans. Students with IEPs might benefit from a 504 plan, for example, if they’re moving from a special education setting to a regular classroom. It’s up to the classroom teacher to become familiar with the 504 plan before such students enter the classroom.
A 504 plan should be considered when a student isn’t benefiting from instruction due to a physical or mental impairment. The issue can be raised by a parent or legal guardian, teacher, physician, or therapist.
A 504 plan can help when a student returns to school after a serious injury or illness, or when a student isn’t eligible for special education services or an IEP, but still needs extra services to succeed academically. Once an educational concern is raised, the school principal or other academic advisor sets up a meeting of a 504 planning team. The team usually consists of the principal, classroom teachers, other school personnel (such as the school nurse, guidance counselor, psychologist, or social worker), and the parents.
After reviewing academic and medical records and interviewing the student and parents, the 504 team determines if the child is eligible to have a 504 plan put in place. Sometimes school officials and parents disagree about eligibility. Disagreements also can arise about details within the 504 plan itself. In these cases, parents can make written appeals to the school district or the U.S. Office for Civil Rights.
Once the plan is developed by the team, all the student’s teachers are responsible for implementing the accommodations in the plan, as well as participating in plan reviews.
The 504 plan should be reviewed at least annually to determine if the accommodations are up to date and appropriate, based on the student’s needs. Any 504 plan team member, including the student’s teacher, may call for a 504 plan review at any time if there is an educational concern or change in the student’s needs.
The plan can be terminated if the 504 team determines that the student:
Attending parentâteacher conferences is a great way to help your kids succeed at school. Here’s what to do before, during, and after the meeting.
Lots of kids have special needs. Find out more in this article for kids.
You might have more on your plate than most parents, but it doesn’t mean you have to do it all alone. Here’s how to ask for help and avoid caregiver burnout.
Here’s how to set boundaries and communicate your expectations in a nurturing, loving way.
Some kids may be eligible for individualized education programs in public schools, free of charge. Understanding how to access these services can help you be an effective advocate for your child.
If your child has special needs in the classroom, he or she may be eligible for a government-supported learning plan.
There are many camp choices for kids with special needs. From highly specialized camps to regular camps that accommodate kids with special needs, options abound.
Every student finds it hard to stay on top of schoolwork sometimes. So what happens when you have to miss a lot of school? This article for teens offers tips and advice.
These 10 steps can help take the anxiety and worry out of your child’s financial future and make sure that your child will be taken care of even after you’re gone.
When your child has a serious or chronic illness, it’s hard to think beyond the next treatment. But with planning and communication, you can help your child balance treatment and academics.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.